On December 28th of 2012, a news website called thedailybeast.com announced that Norfolk, VA was runner up in a list of the “25 Drunkest Cities 2012.” Intrigued by the idea of what that meant, I decided to venture out into the Norfolk nightlife and record what I found there. From January 26th to February 25th 2013, I ventured forth on five different weekends to explore the bar scene. Accompanied by friends, I visited bars familiar to our social circle in the region of Norfolk known as Ghent. I also walked along the parade of more commercial bars located on Granby. For a brief while I investigated a house party.
For the project, I had no political or social motive or comment. I didn’t care if The Daily Beast was correct or not. I just felt compelled to venture out and capture a representation of the city’s current state. Like any other metropolis in the history of mankind, Norfolk is a place of diversity. Some people I met in this venture were kindhearted and jovial, not unlike an ideal grouping of a cheerful working class found throughout classic literature. Others were truly sad examples of humanity. They stumbled about and harassed one another in a manner more familiar to so-called reality television shows of our time.
I believe that the images I have amassed are as objective as possible. I know that there must exist a certain level of subjectivity, if for nothing else but the fact that bars I visited were mostly ones I have been to before and chosen. The activities of the people though, the scenes which they created, were completely natural and out of my control. I did my best to find compositions within the bustle of activity, but I never staged a shot. Sometimes I managed to capture people unaware that the camera was on them. At other times they were quite aware and responded as their natures led them. In all cases though, all I did was seek the right image. I hope therefore, that any impressions of Norfolk created by this series will be fair and truly representable of the city as it is today.